Still, no one knows yet whether these findings could one day have practical use.
"This is really the first evidence that this biomarker of aging may be important for 25-year-olds as well as 65-year-olds, and for acute health conditions as well as chronic," Cohen said.
Of course, you do not need to wait for any telomere-lengthening therapy to curb your risk of catching a cold. "Wash your hands," Schaffner advised. "And try to avoid people who are sneezing and coughing."
Learn more about telomeres and health from the University of Utah.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.